Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.
TIP Make the galette early in the day, the bread pudding up to one day ahead, and the bananas just before you want to serve them.
These desserts -- all good enough to make for company during the holidays, take less than 20 minutes of prep time.
APPLE GALETTE WITH CRANBERRIES
2 pounds Golden Delicious apples (4 large apples)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 ready-to-bake prepared crust
1 egg, lightly beaten
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Peel the apples and cut into thin slices. Toss with the cinnamon, sugar, lemon juice and cranberries.
3. Roll out crust on floured surface to a diameter of 12 to 13 inches. Transfer to baking sheet. Leaving a 2-inch perimeter free, place the apple mixture on the crust. Fold the edges in over the apple mixture, pleating the crust as you go.
4. Brush egg over piecrust dough and bake in center of oven until crust is golden and sounds hollow when tapped, about 25 minutes. Let cool before serving. Makes 8 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving 215 calories, 2 g protein, 37 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 147 mg sodium
CARAMELIZED BANANAS WITH WALNUTS
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 bananas, sliced
1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1. Combine butter, lime juice, orange juice, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high and cook until the butter is melted.
2. Add the sugar and cook, stirring, until it is dissolved.
3. Add the banana and cook, stirring, until the glaze coats the slices, about 3 to 4 minutes.
4. Stir in the walnuts and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes until walnuts also are coated. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving 231 calories, 3 g protein, 48 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 5g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 7 mg sodium
COCONUT AND GOLDEN RAISIN BREAD PUDDING
1/2 cup shredded coconut
3 large eggs
1 (14.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup brown sugar plus 2 tablespoons, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup golden raisins
12 ounces bread, torn or sliced
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Place the coconut in a dry skillet over medium high and cook, stirring occasionally, until coconut is lightly browned. Transfer to a plate to cool.
3. Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl; add coconut milk, milk, 1/2cup brown sugar and vanilla; mix thoroughly. Add the raisins, bread, and slightly cooled coconut and toss to allow all the bread to soak up some of the liquid. Transfer to the baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until set. Makes 6 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving 507 calories, 15 g protein, 87 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 11 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 603 mg sodium